To accomplish the fine shading I separate the standard five-strand embroidery floss into single strands of thread. I use the threads individually or mixed with other colored threads to help achieve the subtle shading, stitchery, and textures characteristic of my work.
I believe that it takes a certain kind of personality to get the detail and often refer to myself as extremely ‘detail oriented’. Some of my pieces took more than a year to complete and when finished, they are carefully stretched, matted and framed using museum quality glass. I must credit Andy at Art and the Artist for being such a superb framer of my works. I often tell him that he makes me look good.
I never had a lesson in embroidery and when years ago I attempted to get more formalized training I found it to be inhibiting. I use tiny up-and-down stitches resembling pointillism, the painting technique used by George Seurat, to do my version of his masterpiece "Sunday afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte."
I must admit to pain in my hands after years of manipulating needle and thread in such fine movements, but I have no trouble seeing the details of my work, even when embroidering as a passenger in the car.
I just love to do it. As long as my hands and my eyes hold, I will keep doing it.
HOW IT ALL GOT STARTED
It all started with a pair of ripped pants while on a car trip with the family.
After sewing up the pants I decided to “spiff them up” and bought some embroidery thread, stitched a flower on the patched pants, and the rest, as they say, is history.
I found the process so enjoyable that I used embroidery to enrich my life and to express my love of color and art. Many have been gifted to friends and family on special occasions and I collaborated with a friend, Carol Moll, an accomplished photographer, to create a coffee table book showcasing my creations.
I don't really have a favorite. They're all my babies since they are created with painstaking detail, fluid and brilliant colors, and lots of love.
I embroider every morning for about two hours and then again for an hour or so at the end of the day. Much of my thread painting done during car trips with my husband and I always carry a project with me. I tend to work on several at once with varying difficulty, sizes, and stitches.
Where did this passion for creativity begin? I recall as a child excelling in art and would I would do my brother's art work for school in exchange for him doing the dishes for me. I was always doodling with pen and ink. I liked the detail work.
I feel that thread painting has been magical for me. When I see a painting, photo, or print illustration that I like, and I decide to re-create it in embroidery my goal is not to replicate it but to interpret it in my way. There are small—and intentional—differences.
April 22, 2013
The story of a new thread painting
It all starts with a painting or a photograph that I see and which catches my eye for some reason. It either reminds me of an event or a period in my life or even a special occasion. In this case I was inspired by my very best friend. Both of us have love the poetry and music of Leonard Cohen for many years. Ruth gave me his book as a birthday gift years ago and in 2013 I decided to embroider the cover of the book for her birthday.
It started with the sketch (#1) which in this case was done “free style” using a pen on white cotton cloth. The type of stitching I used was mostly “pointillism” to provide me with the special effect. This took over 3 months (# 2, 3, 4,) of working early in the mornings until it was completed (#5), stretched and framed (#6).
The thrill of creating and giving a “special” gift is immensely satisfying.
If you have any questions, you may do so through my contact page.
Interpreting works of art, both great and small.
PAINTING WITH THREADS
By Dina Kassel
Expertly framed by:
Art and the Artist
5769 N Palm Avenue
Fresno, CA 93704
December 1, 2013
Bernie and Paisley- a love story
It all started with my friends getting a dog. They fell in love with a Pug and named him Bernie. (Pic #1)
While Bernie was very loved by his parent he spent time alone and looked forward to the Doggie Park so he could play with is friends. Mom and dad knew that Bernie needed a buddy and this is when Paisley came into the picture. (pic #2)
Before you knew it they fell in love hence their name The Love Pugs. (pic #3)
When their photograph was posted on Facebook I could not resist thread painting their loving faces using my usual technique of cotton threads split and mixed for shading.
Of note faces of people and animals are particularly difficult to thread paint since capturing expressions using this method is a challenge.
In this case one can see how excited the Love Pugs were when they were presented with the gift of a framed “Bernie Paisley” portrait. (#4)
The thread painting is currently hanging in their parent’s home next to portraits of mom and dad and may they all live happily ever after.